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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 12 | Rhamnaceae

4. Berchemia Necker ex Candolle, Prodr. 2: 22. 1825.

勾儿茶属 gou er cha shu

Oenoplea Michaux ex R. Hedwig.

Shrubs climbing or erect, evergreen to deciduous, rarely small trees, unarmed. Leaves alternate; stipules connate at base, persistent, rarely caducous; leaf blade mostly papery, margin entire, venation pinnate, with 4-18 pairs of strongly parallel secondary and mostly strongly parallel tertiary veins. Flowers bisexual, pedicellate, 5-merous, glabrous, in thyrses composed of mainly few flowered, terminal or axillary, pedunculate to sessile, corymblike cymes. Calyx tube disk- to cup-shaped or hemispherical. Sepals triangular, rarely linear or narrowly lanceolate, adaxially ± distinctly keeled. Petals spatulate to lanceolate, shorter than or ca. as long as sepals, shortly clawed. Stamens dorsifixed, equaling petals or slightly shorter. Disk mainly fleshy, filling calyx tube, with 10 irregular lobes, free at margin. Ovary superior, ± deeply immersed in disk, 2-loculed, with 1 ovule per locule; styles cylindric, short, undivided; stigma large, entire, emarginate, or 2-fid. Drupe single-stoned, purple-red or purple-black, often turning black at maturity, mostly cylindric, rarely obovate, base with persistent calyx tube and disk remnants, apex often with rudimentary style; mesocarp fleshy, thin, sometimes sweet-tasting; endocarp stiffly cartilaginous, 2-loculed, locules 1-seeded.

About 32 species: mainly in temperate and tropical areas of E to SE Asia; 19 species (12 endemic) in China.

Berchemia alnifolia H. Léveillé (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 10: 433. 1912) is the basionym of Corylopsis alnifolia (H. Léveillé) C. K. Schneider in the Hamamelidaceae (see Fl. China 9: 37. 2003).

Berchemia sessiliflora Bentham (Fl. Hongk. 68. 1861), described from Hong Kong, could not be treated here because no material was seen by the authors.

The roots, stems, and leaves in some species are used medicinally. The young leaves are used as a substitute for tea.

1 Flowers few, solitary or 2- or 3-fascicled in leaf axils; leaves relatively small, not more than 2 × 1.3 cm, lateral veins 4-6 pairs; low shrubs (B. sect. Axilliflorae Y. L. Chen & P. K. Chou)   (2)
+ Flowers numerous, usually in terminal or axillary, cymose racemes or cymose panicles; leaves relatively large, lateral veins 8-18 pairs (except B. lineata); scandent shrubs (B. sect. Berchemia)   (3)
2 (1) Leaves uniform, papery, 4-10 × 3-6 mm, petioles 1-2 mm; pedicels to 4 mm; petals oblong-spatulate, apex obtuse.   1 B. edgeworthii
+ Leaves dimorphic, thinly papery, 12-20 × 8-13 mm, petioles 3-7 mm; pedicels to 9 mm; petals triangular-ovate, apex acute.   2 B. longipedicellata
3 (1) Flowers usually in simple, cymose racemes   (4)
+ Flowers in racemose or cymose panicles   (10)
4 (3) Flowers 3-12 in terminal or axillary, cymose racemes   8 B. longipes
+ Flowers few in pedunculate cymes   (5)
5 (4) Rachis, branchlets, and petioles pubescent   (6)
+ Rachis and branchlets glabrous; petioles glabrous or pubescent   (7)
6 (5) Leaves 0.5-2 × 0.4-1.2 cm, lateral veins 4 or 5(or 6) pairs, petioles to 2 mm; flowers usually few to 10 in terminal, cymose racemes; sepals linear or narrowly lanceolate-linear.   3 B. lineata
+ Leaves to 5.5 × 3 cm, lateral veins 7-9 pairs, petioles 3-6 mm; flowers more numerous, in terminal or axillary, cymose racemes; sepals ovate-triangular.   4 B. polyphylla
7 (5) Petioles abaxially pubescent.   4 B. polyphylla
+ Petioles glabrous   (8)
8 (7) Leaves to 3 × 1.5 cm.   5 B. formosana
+ Leaves to 6.5 × 3 cm   (9)
9 (8) Leaves apically rounded-obtuse, rarely acute, abaxially grayish white when dry; drupe basally with cup-shaped remnants of disk   6 B. kulingensis
+ Leaves apically acute to obtuse, finely mucronate, abaxially turning yellow when dry; drupe basally with shallow dish-shaped remnants of calyx tube and disk.   7 B. yunnanensis
10 (3) Rachis usually densely pubescent, rarely glabrous   (11)
+ Rachis glabrous, rarely sparsely puberulent   (14)
11 (10) Drupe obovoid-globose; leaf blade to 20 cm, both surfaces glabrous, abaxially pubescent on veins.   9 B. annamensis
+ Drupe cylindric; leaf blade distinctly smaller, to 10 cm, adaxially pubescent   (12)
12 (11) Drupe 1.1-1.4 cm; leaves apically acuminate or shortly acuminate; young branches and petioles ± densely pubescent.   10 B. hirtella
+ Drupe to 1 cm; leaves apically obtuse or rounded, rarely acute; young branches and petioles glabrous   (13)
13 (12) Leaves thinly papery to papery, lateral veins 10-14 pairs, petioles to 2.5 cm.   11 B. huana
+ Leaves papery to subleathery, lateral veins 12-17 pairs, petioles to 4 cm.   12 B. hispida
14 (10) Leaves abaxially pubescent in vein axils, grayish white when dry, lateral veins 7-13 pairs   (15)
+ Leaves glabrous or abaxially sparsely pubescent on veins, not grayish white when dry, lateral veins (9-)12-18 pairs   (17)
15 (14) Flowers in racemose, broadly cymose panicles; leaves subleathery, apex shortly acuminate; drupe 10-13 mm.   15 B. omeiensis
+ Flowers in racemose, narrowly cymose panicles; leaves papery, apex obtuse or rounded; drupe 5-9 mm   (16)
16 (15) Stem without short shoots; leaves exclusively alternate, thinly papery, abaxially densely pubescent in vein axils.   13 B. barbigera
+ Stem with long and short shoots; leaves alternate or fascicled on short shoots, thickly papery, abaxially sparsely pubescent in vein axils.   14 B. sinica
17 (14) Leaves glabrous or abaxially sparsely pubescent on veins, lateral veins 9-12 pairs; flowers in elongated racemose or broadly cymose panicles.   19 B. floribunda
+ Leaves glabrous, lateral veins 12-18 pairs; flowers in short racemose, narrowly cymose panicles   (18)
18 (17) Leaves abaxially turning golden-yellow when dry; drupe ripening in May-Jun of following year.   18 B. flavescens
+ Leaves abaxially not turning yellow when dry; drupe ripening in Sep-Dec of current year   (19)
19 (18) Leaf blade thickly papery or subleathery, abaxially reddish when dry, both surfaces glabrous; drupe 6-7 mm, ripening in Sep-Oct of current year.   16 B. brachycarpa
+ Leaf blade papery, abaxially gray-green, puberulous; drupe 7-12 mm, ripening in Nov-Dec of current year.   17 B. medogensis

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